When it’s crunch time, when you need to have that win. When you are going against a team that you’ve recently dominated to get that win, then the formula should be fairly elementary to achive that goal, right?
Tonight your Calgary Flames went into Nashville with the peace of mind knowing that they can beat the Predators, but with the uncertainty of whether they could do it on the road.
Instead of following the game plan that got them the win a week earlier, they left it out in the open for the Preds to study and use against them. And use it they did.
‘Twas a great night, indeed! Richmond, VA was such a great crowd AND back home the hubby scored TWO goals! Woo hoo!
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) March 22, 2013
For the first few minutes of this game, it looked like Calgary was going to be in for a rough night as they seemed a step behind Nashville and a wee bit sluggish in their step. How long was it going to take the Flames to find the clutch and flip the ignition to get this show "on the road"?
Lee Stempniak picked an opportune time to take an offensive initiative when he turned the tables on the Preds power-play after the slightest of miscues. A slight bobble on the point was enough to send Lee on his way. He could have actually drawn a penalty but instead stayed on his feet. With a quick buttonhook in the Preds zone, he seved up Mark Giordano with a perfect tee’d up flat pass. Gio hit the one-timer and blew it right passed Rinne. 1-0 on the shorty!
At 11:15, Mikael Backlund would take a double-minor for highsticking and once again, Nashville was going to the PP. This time, the Preds would only need 21 seconds for Martin Erat to tip in Roman Josi’s shot from the point. We were all tied up and the Preds were staying on the PP.
Nashville might have considered declining all future power-plays as in the back half of Backlund’s double minor, the Flames and Giordano would go back to work. As Mark came down the left side into the Preds zone, he would thread the needle with a pass to the center of the ice. Waiting right in front of Rinne would be Blake Comeau (Yes, THAT Blake Comeau) to tip in his 4th of the season; and the Flames were up 2-1, at the expense of Nashville’s PP.
With two minutes left in the period, Calgary decided they didn’t really need to cover the middle of the ice in front of Kipper. Chris Butler would deliver a perfect pass to Erat behind the net who would then center the pass to a wide open Mr. Underwood, who in turn promptly snapped the puck over Kipper’s right shoulder. Heading to the intermission with deuces wild.
Nashville out-shot the Flames 10-7, but dominated them with seven scoring chances to Calgary’s one… Sometimes it’s good to be lucky, and the Flames were lucky they got out of the first unscathed.
Calgary would go back on the PK early in the second, so naturally, they were going to retake the lead right? Well no… In fact Miikka Kiprusoff would have to make a few big saves just to keep the game tied.
Common themes we have seen from this team in the middle frame, started to re-surface once again. When you stand still instead of moving your feet, it stretches the team trying to come out of their zone. When this happens, you are waiting for plays to happen and you end up chasing the play. Calgary was going to need something to change; soon.
When you don’t do something to change the flow of the game, the tide usually drowns you.
Not learning from his first goal, the Flames continued to leave Mr. Underwood unchecked. At 13:24, he would camp just off to Kipper’s right side. When the pass made it’s way cross-crease, it was a wide open tap in. When you get the lead, the best way to keep a team on their heels is to bump their goalie, so Nashville did and a minute later Nick Spaling would give the Preds a two goal lead with Kiprusoff knocked on his backside.
That was about enough for Kipper as a few moments later he’d have Legwand laying across him, which prompted Miikka to let David feel his blocker in the small of his back. Frustration was mounting with the Flames.
Not surprising that Nashville doubled up the score. They doubled up the scoring chances (6-3) and were still dominating shots 10-8. A two shot differential isn’t that much, unless your goalie is being knocked around like a tackling dummy!
What would be in store for your Calgary Flames in the final frame?
#68 Kent Wilson March 21 2013, 08:34PM +1 0 props
Better period so far in terms of puck possession, but they can’t get anything to the net.
Unfortunately this is also something that we have seen far too often. The team comes together to mount a push back, yet just can’t seem to get through to generate results.
When they finally did break through, Mikael Backlund was able to pull the Flames within one, only to have the gol negated because Alex Tanguay was standing in the blue paint. Curious how the refs could call that one interference while allowing the goal from Spaling with a Preds player lying on top of Kiprusoff.
And then like it was scripted, Kevin Klein (No, not THAT Kevin Klein) would come down the other way and make it 5-2 for the Preds.
The Flames would finally get a PPG when Jarome Iginla would get his eighth of the season with the goalie on the bench. At this point it was just too little, too late. Calgary drew even chances 2-2 in the third but overall were out-chanced 15-6; yes you read that right.
Why the Flames Lost…
Because like I just said, they got out-chanced by the Predators 15-6 tonight. Their first scoring chance of the game actually came on their second goal of the game, which was short-handed.
Because the Flames continue to believe they don’t have to play 60 minutes in order to have a shot at winning the game.
Because this team was completely and utterly absent while 5 on 5 and didn’t have the wherewithal to cover one of the oppositions top players, like for example…. MR. UNDERWOOD!!! (YES THAT MR. UNDERWOOD!!)
Ummm no… no… Just no Not even a little bit tonight.
Scoring Chance Summary
|Home||1||8:25||Erat tip goal (PP)||12||10||19||6||59||35||18||22||4||5||34||5v4|
|Away||1||6:56||Comeau goal (SH)||11||56||57||6||59||35||18||17||4||44||34||5v4|
|Home||2||16:35||Josi open net (PP)||11||56||57||6||59||35||20||40||4||26||34||5v4|
|Home||2||16:03||slot shot (PP)||11||56||57||6||59||35||20||40||4||26||34||5v4|
|Home||2||6:36||Fisher slot goal||13||18||16||8||64||35||15||16||25||6||44||34||5v5|
|Home||3||4:06||Yip 2on1 goal||17||19||24||4||7||35||11||17||40||6||44||34||5v5|
|Away||3||1:00||Iginla goal (PP)||12||10||74||8||64||35||12||13||20||40||5||26||5v5|
Predators Player Summary
Flames Player Summary
Predators Period Summary Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Flames Period Summary Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Sum It Up
Like the title and Mrs. Underwood said, What can I say?
At this point, there is little left to be said and it feels like fans are just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
As of this loss, the Flames are now tied for last place in the NHL. Yes you read that correctly, we have officially become the Edmonton Oilers; so what’s left to happen?
As I write this, my twitter timeline is bouncing with, "trade Iggy", "trade Kipper" and "Trade everyone on the team"! The vitriol has overflown that it feels like the fanbase is screaming that enough is enough. Your Calgary Flames have officially hit rock bottom and subsequently dragged the fans down with them.
Poor Book of Loob is disgusted and has developed twitter turrets towards all the fans that seem to be happy this team continues to lose.
Are we really happy the team is losing or has it just come to the point where there is nothing now that can possibly go more wrong with this team, so the ball in fully in managements court and we are all waiting with anticipation to see what happens next?
The only problem is that sometimes the anticipation of death is worse than death itself.
The Boys are right back at it tomorrow night in Columbus, where believe it or not…. Life will NOT get any easier.
Game time is 5:00 pm MST on SNET-W and the Fan 960.